Heat wave continues, excessive heat warning remains in place

RIVERSIDE – The “blazing heat” that has stifled Riverside County for a week will continue today with temperatures expected to climb even higher, a day after Riverside and Lake Elsinore set new heat records and Idyllwild tied its high-temperature record for the date, the National Weather Service said.

Most of the country remains under an excessive heat warning, which is set to expire Saturday night after being extended twice, while the mountains are under a less-serious heat advisory during the same period.

Thunderstorms pummeled parts of the western county Thursday, flooding roadways and downing power lines, and more of the same is predicted today and into next week, the NWS said.

The heaviest rain is expected Saturday night through Monday courtesy Tropical Storm Lidia, which has moved over the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, but monsoon moisture will bring chances of rain and thunderstorms each day until then. Gusty winds are also expected Saturday night through Sunday.

Conditions were severe Thursday in Lake Elsinore, where the city set a new Aug. 31 heat record of 112 degrees, beating the previous record of 111 set in 2007. Later in the day, more than half an inch of rain fell on the city, shattering an Aug. 31 record of eight-tenths of an inch from 1929.

Riverside also set a new Aug. 31 record, topping out at 112 to best the previous high of 110 set in 1998. And in Idyllwild, temperatures matched a 94-degree record dating back to 1950.

Thermal, the hottest spot in the county Thursday at 115 degrees, also matched Chino in Northern California for the hottest temperature in the nation. Other high temperatures in the Coachella Valley, where no rain fell, were 114 degrees in Palm Springs and 113 in Indio.

“Ahead of the tropical moisture will be continued blazing heat across inland areas today and again on Saturday,” the NWS said. “In fact, today looks as hot as what was felt yesterday, and even hotter at some locales.”

High temperatures today will be 109 to 115 in the Riverside and Lake Elsinore areas, 92 to 99 in the mountains, 106 to 11 in the San Gorgonio Pass and 110 to 115 in the Coachella Valley.

The NWS reminded residents that during an excessive heat warning, “persons working outdoors or those without access to adequate air conditioning will be more likely to experience heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion. Some heat related illnesses are serious enough to require hospitalization and could become fatal if left untreated.”

The weather service reminded residents to never leave children, seniors or pets unattended in cars; drink more water than usual and avoid alcohol, sugar and caffeine; wear light-colored clothing and a wide-brimmed hat outdoors to keep the head and body cooler; and take frequent rest breaks in shaded or air-conditioned environments.

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